Dog Friendly Backyard Ground Cover

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Kurapia The Worlds Greatest Ground Cover – Dog Approved

Dayna on September 01, 2018:

Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Just moved to a new home that has a beautiful yard full of poisonous plants. A lot of work to do. Now I have ideas what to use as replacements.

Deb on September 26, 2017:

Thanks for your quiz. Learned something.

on June 30, 2016:

Thank you so much for posting this educational read! I am finally getting around to landscaping my yard and was wondering what you might recommend for a water-wise ground cover? I live in San Diego and have a small corgi so I am trying to find the most drought resistant option that won’t attract the thousands of brown widows, rattlesnakes, and rats that in my neighborhood. Thank you!

Kelsey Elise Farrell from Orange County, CA on May 06, 2015:

Great hub, I think it’s important to note that sago palms are EXTREMELY poisonous. My neighbor had one that his six year old lab and small rescue dog dug up, it was terrible. The lab they had to put down and the smaller dog had nearly a year of vet visits and rehab to make it through. Otherwise, GREAT hub. My mom’s a petsitter who frequently has upwards of 6 dogs at her home, this is great information that I will pass onto her.

Jim and Laura from Chicago area on August 27, 2014:

Dog Friendly Landscape Ideas

All County Landscape Hardscape Loves Dogs. So It only makes sense that we share our Dog Friendly Landscape Ideas with you! Call Us Today!

They get into mischief because they need stimulation, and there are some fantastic, dog friendly ideas for your backyard that will look great, and help keep your fur baby entertained, safe, and comfortable for this coming summer season.. Here are 10 Dog Friendly Landscape Ideas for you to try out!. Make it extra dog friendly by incorporating running water into the design!. Ponds are another good alternative, provided that you provide a slope that extends into the water so that your pet has an easy way in and out of the water.. These areas are called dog runs and are a sure fire way to make your yard more dog friendly.. .. To save yourself some time in the sun mowing grass, look at alternatives.. Thirdly, mulch can be a good option.. They will help you the mulch is dog friendly, and safe for your pet.. Not only will this provide your pet with a more desirable digging space, it will entertain them and also provide a place for them to act out their natural instincts without getting in trouble.. Other pet owners will use astroturf, some opt for patches of specific grasses, but for our purposes, we will go with gravel.

Build A Dog Run Or Pet Area

A dog run is an ideal spot for your dog to burn off her energy, play, and relieve herself without you having to worry about what shell do to the rest of the yard.

With a dog run, waste is contained in just one spot, and brown urine marks are a thing of the past.

Dog run cleaning and maintenance is simple and straightforward.

If you have a large backyard but cant afford to or dont want to replace the entire lawn with a dog-friendly ground cover, building a dog run is a great alternative.

One of the most common residential artificial turf applications is in dog runs and designated dog potty areas.

Its also great for Texas homeowners who like to entertain outdoors, but need to keep excitable pups away from guests.

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Make Dog Paths Easy On Paws

All dogs like to patrol the perimeter, so youll want to accommodate that and set plants back away from that path, she says. Three feet is about normal. Smooth, paw-friendly hardscape surfaces, such as light-colored, heat-reflecting pavers or flagstone, may be better path choices than pea gravel that gets strewn in lawns, or sharp-edged wood mulch that gets stuck in hair and paws.

Heggem also advises against using eco-friendly mulches made from recycled tires. Theyre a big no-no for dogs, she says. Theyre toxic to dogs and can contain ground-up woven steel, which can be really damaging. Cocoa mulch is another option to avoid. Like chocolate, cocoa hulls can be toxic if dogs ingest them.

Youll also want to watch for areas where your pet likes to rest. Thats often a spot that lets them keep an eye on you and the back door. Make sure they have a shaded area, whether doghouse or plant-covered pergola, to get out of summer sun. A water feature designed to provide fresh, pet-safe water is essential, too.

Artificial Grass For Dogs

Low Maintenance Dog Friendly Backyard Ground Cover

Without a doubt, the best possible option for most homeowners who have regular jobs and dont want to spend extra energy, time, and money dealing with maintenance and pest control is fake grass designed for dogs. Synthetic turf is a wonderful option if you are sick and tired of dealing with a live lawn. Many families are choosing pet-friendly turf installation these days, and there are plenty of good reasons why its a trending option.

Pet turf is the definitive dog lovers dream. They dont have to worry about brown spots on the grass or bare patches. And dogs rarely dig into artificial grass.

Artificial grass is simple to clean after your pet uses it as a restroom. It has a smooth and level surface that makes it safe for children to play on.

An added benefit of artificial grass is that after your dog goes outside and plays, you dont have to worry about cleaning up patches of mud or blades of grass off of your wood floor. You will want to use a deodorizer designed to absorb the odor of pet urine.

Synthetic Turf Northwest offers an anti-microbial turf that solves this problem before it even arises so you dont have to worry about odors.

If you are concerned about aesthetics, pet turf does not look like Astroturf. It looks and feels like natural grass.

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Want To Give Your Dog A Backyard Theyll Love

The joys of being a dog owner go beyond snuggles in the living room and adventures to the dog park.

When you take on a dog, they become an inseparable part of your family. Creating a dog-friendly backyard and fun environment for your fur baby is often the focus of all great pet owners. Every dog owner hunts to find landscaping ideas that fit the needs of their pups and the ability of their environment. This can sometimes be a struggle.

Notorious diggers dogs like to explore with their noses and paws, sometimes wreaking havoc on backyard landscaping. But that doesnt mean you have to surrender your yard to dirty dog paths worn into the soil.

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Green Ground Cover Options

While these are sturdier options than regular grass, they still can be pulled up, especially if you have a large dog that runs in the same area repeatedly. When choosing one, youll have to think about things like climate, durability, seasonal dormancy, appearance and lawn care.


Bermudagrass is a good option for big dogs that like to bound and romp around the yard because it has deep roots and does well in high-traffic areas. Bermudagrass will become dormant in winter if the weather gets too cold, so it grows best in areas with warmer and mild winters, thriving in hardiness zones 7 through 10.

If youre not sure where your area falls, you can enter your ZIP code into the USDAs plant hardiness website to find out.

Kentucky Bluegrass

Kentucky bluegrass is a relatively thick grass that grows and heals quickly, so its a good Bermudagrass alternative for people who live a little farther north. Kentucky bluegrass is best for cooler climates, can tolerate cold weather better than Bermudagrass and grows best in hardiness zones 2 through 6.


People sometimes call clover a weed , but its generally considered to be attractive. And as an added benefit, clover can crowd out unattractive weeds. Clover can be a good alternative to grass if you want your yard to remain green because it wont discolor the way grass can.

Artificial Turf

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Create Patrol Paths For Your Dog

Dogs are hardwired to patrol their territory, namely, your dog-friendly backyard. Dogs will usually patrol the perimeter of the yard, right at the base of your fence. You canât stop your dog from patrolling, so adapt your yard to your dogâs behavior patterns. Wherever your dog has worn away the grass and created dirt paths, lay down mulch or stone along this patrol route. This will make your dog-friendly backyard more attractive, and also reduce the likelihood of muddy paws from rainy-day patrols.

Best Ground Cover For Dogs: Dog

Is Kurapia Ground Cover Dog Friendly?

Dogs are certainly valuable family members, but they sure can wreak havoc on a yard.

Your best bet is to install as much hardscape, like pavers, as possible, but with grass-loving kids at home and a desire for backyard color, this is not always a realistic option.

To help you determine the best options for your situation, we will address issues commonly faced by dog owners, recommend grasses, living ground covers and non-living ground covers, and provide a variety of tips for maintaining a yard that meets the needs of your dogs without sacrificing visual appeal or overall function.

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Dog Friendly Landscaping Without Grass

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Lawns are expensive, environmentally unfriendly and, for households with dogs, tough to keep green and lush and dog urine is high in nitrogen and can burn your lawn, leaving the landscape dotted with brown spots. Most dogs are perfectly happy relieving themselves on substances other than grass, such as dog-friendly gravel, as long the surface does not cause pain to their sensitive pads.

Kurapia Pet Friendly Ground Cover

The most important thing to know is that no grass, groundcover, or plant is truly 100% dog-proof. Whether theyre biting into it, chewing on it, clawing into it, or marking their territory , all plants will be susceptible to dogs. However, there are certain ground covers that are better suited for pets because of certain traits they have. For instance, a hearty tall fescue with thicker and wider grass blades will stand up to a dog better than a fine fescue mix which has long, thin and relatively fragile sod blades. Similarly, Kurapia is made to self repair and self heal, which is a desireable trait for a lawn that may have some damage from pets.

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Live Grass Options For Dog

No live grass is immune to brown spots, digging and excessive play.

If you share your home with one or more dogs and really want to keep a natural grass lawn, you may have to dial down your expectations of a perfectly manicured, golf course-worthy lawn and consider one of these options for the best results.

Create A Digging Patch

Low Maintenance Dog Friendly Backyard Ground Cover

Prize-winning tomatoes cant make it into salsa if your pup beats you to them. But giving up the garden of your dreams doesnt have to be the answer.

Garden barriers come in all shapes and sizes. So whether your dog is a jumper or digger, there are options to keep them from munching on your home-grown goodies.

Concrete yards or those that cant be dug can still enjoy a garden! Raised garden beds are perfect, with options that sit directly on the ground or are raised. Many different materials and patterns are available to suit your style, but wood garden beds and barriers, particularly those made of cedar, offer added benefits. Not only is cedar dog-friendly, but it also contains natural oils that repel pests.

Be sure to grow healthy, dog-friendly snacks like carrots, peas, celery, and beans. But also keep in mind that certain herbs and plants are toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Produce to keep out of your garden includes onions, garlic, chives, chamomile, and rhubarb.

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Common Backyard Problems Faced By Dog Owners

  • Holes in the yard and damaged plants from pets that like to dig
  • Brown spots in grass or stains on concrete appear frequently due to urine.
  • An inability to grow grass, ground covers or other plants because of dogs that like to pace or run in the same area
  • Flea infestations from natural grass and wood
  • Mud tracked indoors from pets going out to use the bathroom during or after heavy rain

Best Grass For Dogs How To Create A Dog

byUltra Outdoors28.3k Views

While most dog owners feel they must sacrifice a well-manicured, lush lawn for their fur-baby, this is not the case. With a few small changes, you can have a nice-looking yard for your pet that looks lusher and fuller and will keep your dog completely safe. We teach you how to create a dog-friendly yard beginning with the best grass for dogs.

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Ground Covers For Dog Potty Areas Pros And Cons

Here is a great summary of the pros and cons of ground covers for dog potty areas.

Mulch Type
Cheap, soaks up wee, easy to pick up poo, natural, comfortable for dogs, improves soil. Needs to be topped up over time, can spread onto pavers.
2. Pebbles Drains well, easy to clean with a hose, looks neat & tidy. Large pebbles make it harder to pick up poo, can be uncomfortable for dog feet.
3. Dog mats or artificial turf Easy to install, looks neat and tidy, dogs love them. Can move around if not secured properly, can be difficult to clean without using a hose.
4. Sand Drains easily, low cost, dogs love it Can stick to dogs feet coming into your house, dogs can confuse dog potty areas and kids sandpits.
5. Straw or hay Absorbs dog wee, low cost, easy to buy and replace Can make a mess in your yard when your dog moves it around, needs to be replaced regularly.

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Amazing PET FRIENDLY No-Mow Lawn Substitute – Ruschia ‘Nana’ (Dwarf Carpet of Stars)

The Terrapin Landscapes team are true dog lovers and nothing makes us happier than clients who come to us hoping to make more dog-friendly landscape decisions. Hardscaping and landscaping for dogs means thinking about safety, usability, and aesthetics from your pups perspectiveand no one turns landscapes and hardscapes into dogscapes quite like Terrapin. #1:

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Plant A Grass Alternative

Its a modern misconception that a yard must use grass as ground cover. While many pristine yards are filled with lush, shiny grass, dog owners understand the struggle of avoiding paths worn into the dirt and yellowed dead patches from dog urine.

Replace your dogs favorite hangout spots with ground-cover plants, mulch, or turf. Some great options for living ground cover include creeping thyme, Irish moss, and silver carpet. While no living ground cover will be completely dog-resistant, these options are typically hardier than grass.

Mulch and turfgrass are viable options, used heavily in hotter, drier areas. Turf is an ideal option for concrete or rocky yards, allowing a cool place for your dog to run, roll, and play.

When considering mulch or turf in your yard, be sure to ensure your options are dog-safe. For example, some mulch includes cocoa shells, which are toxic to dogs. Luckily, the most popular wood-based mulches are dog safe.

Dog Mats Or Artificial Turf

Dog mats or artificial turf are great options to cover the ground for your dog potty area. These look natural and can be placed in a corner out of the way.

The best way to clean these surfaces is with a hose. Make sure that artificial turf is secured tightly on the ground otherwise it is likely to move around your yard when your dog walks or scratches on the surface.

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Install A Water Feature

Make sure your dog can stay cool in the spring and summer by adding a water feature to your backyard. Not only will this keep your dog hydrated, but provide her with hours of entertainment during the warmer months.

Options include:

  • Dog watering system connected to your outdoor hose.

Place the water feature in the shade when possible.

Grass Alternatives For Dogs

Best Ground Cover For Dogs: Dog

While a lush green lawn is nice to look at, dogs may pull up your grass when running around and create yellow spots from urine. Consider alternative options like mulch, rocks or artificial turf that are sturdy and that wont heat up too much in warm months. If youre using rocks, make sure theyre not small enough to get stuck in your dogs paws and make sure your dog wont eat the pebbles.

Talk to your local landscape designer about the best setup, and consider using ground cover fabric under gravel, mulch, or stones, so the materials dont settle into the soil. Also known as landscape fabric, this material will prevent weeds from growing up amid your ground cover.

Ground cover fabric is a woven fiber layer thats perforated with holes so water can seep through. Some include UV protection to prolong the fabrics life. If you use ground cover fabric, it should be secured so that dogs wont dig or rip it up. Landscape pins are available for this purpose.

As youre planning your dog-friendly backyard landscaping, consider the planting zone youre in and how much your climate will impact ground cover. For example, if it rains a lot where you live, you may want to avoid dirt walkways, which can lead to muddy paws.

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